Alumni & Class Giving

Welcome to the Alumni and Class Giving page!

Bren School graduates have earned the finest multidisciplinary and multifaceted environmental training in the nation. Each year a new class of nearly 80 environmental leaders departs Bren and takes their place in the world providing vision, leadership, and expertise. The Bren School is extremely proud of its alumni, their achievements, and their potential to positively impact the world and our environment for years to come. Through a network of alumni communications and ongoing interactions with the Bren School, we are building a community that ensures that our students, faculty, and alumni will have the resources they need to meet and achieve their unique goals now and into the future.

Support from alumni is key to sustaining the excellence of the Bren School’s programs and activities. Make a Gift Now and make a lasting impact!

You are always welcome at Bren. Please visit our Events web page to keep abreast of seminars, conferences, and special events at the Bren School. We hope to see you soon!

Bren Alumni Advisory Council
Alumni Advisory Council founding members (from left): President John Onderdonk (MESM 2003), Bryan Henson (MESM 2003), Ariana Arcenas Utley (MESM 2010), Vice President Matthew Riley (MESM 2003), Aaron Wdowin (MESM 2010)

Banana Fingers Support Kirsten Tilleman,
MESM Candidate and Gaucho Women's Basketball Star

John Onderdonk and Bryan Henson were members of the Bren School Class of 2003 intramural basketball team, which was known as "Banana Fingers" in reference to the team's occasionally questionable ball-handling skills. The team roster comprised: John Onderdonk, Director of Sustainability Programs, California Institute of Technology; Matt Riley, CEO, Infinity Renewables; Bryan Henson, President, Allen Associates; Greg Tamblyn, Executive Director, Renewable Energy Institutes International; Tom Whitaker, Director of Project Engineering, Infinity Renewables; Eric Fegraus, Director of Information Systems, Conservation International; Ryan Harding, General Manager, American Integrated Services; and Bob Priola, Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch.

These alumni have also become Bren supporters, and in 2013 they directed a gift to support, appropriately enough, Kirsten Tilleman (MESM 2013), a second-year Bren master's student and a star on the UCSB women's basketball team who was named Tournament MVP in the 2011-2012 Big West tournament. Later, while featured in a "Great Example" video produced by the UCSB Athletic Department, Tilleman talked about teamwork, school work, and her experience at the Bren School.

Class Chairs
Communication between alumni in each class and the Bren School is facilitated by a class chair. Class chairs provide feedback to the school from the work world and open doors to internships, employment opportunities, and matching gifts. Each year class chairs play a leadership role in rallying their classmates to provide annual support to the school in the form of personal contributions. Through the support of our alumni and friends, the school is able to remain among the best in the world for their comprehensive, cutting-edge approaches to environmental science and management.

UCSB Associate Vice Chancellor for Alumni Affairs, George Thurlow, with 8 Bren class chairsFrom left: Associate Vice Chancellor for Alumni Affairs George Thurlow; 2008 Class Co-Chair Ashley Conrad-Saydah; Class of 2009 Alumni Co-Chairs Ashley Apel and Gia Brazil; 2009 Class Co-Chairs Julia Griffin and Samantha Port-Minner, 2008 Class Co-Chair Trevor O’Grady, and Class of 2009 Alumni Co-Chairs Lucas Bare and Kelly McCune.

Career Updates: Let us Know!

You are encouraged to communicate with your Class Chair and the School when you move, change jobs, or have any news to share. We are eager to feature our alumni in the news, on the web, and in our printed materials, so please tell us your stories and join us all in sustaining the Bren community. Please keep us posted on your professional career moves by completing the Alumni Update Form.


Class of 2017

Class of 2017 co-chairs, Jayme Ohlhaver and Desmond Ho

Jayme Ohlhaver came to the Bren School with five years of conservation experience. Most recently, he spent three years working for the National Fish and Wild Life Foundation’s (NFWF) Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, where he helped select and administer projects to remedy harm to natural resources caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Previously, Jayme worked as a climate-change intern analyzing species vulnerability in the Greater Yellowstone area, and as a land-and-water intern for the White House Council on Environmental Quality. He also spent a year in Michigan providing technical and environmental-planning support for outdoor recreation and conservation projects as an AmeriCorps volunteer for the National Park Service. Jayme holds a BA in architectural studies and a minor in conservation biology from UCLA.

Desmond Ho graduated from San Diego State University in 2011 with a BS in biology with an emphasis in ecology. He spent the next four years living at the Catalina Island Marine Institute (CIMI), where he worked as a marine science instructor, teaching children about the wonders of the ocean and taking them snorkeling and diving. In summer 2015, he obtained his divemaster certification, and he may continue to obtain his dive instructor certification. Through his time at CIMI, he gained a better understanding and appreciation of marine protected areas (MPAs). He is pursuing the Coastal Marine Resources Management a specialization to gain a better understanding of MPAs.

Class of 2016

Class of 2016 co-chairs, Stephanie Karba and Tova Handelman

Having graduated from UCSB in 2012 with a BS in hydrology, Stephanie Karba is excited to return to her alma mater to study at the Bren School for her master’s degree. She has a keen interest in water resource management, particularly how water-stressed states such as California can sustainably and equitably allocate water. She has spent the past two years in Berkeleyat the nonprofit Food & Water Watch, where she worked on a campaign to research the effects of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") in California. Stephanie is an avid backpacker and recently hiked more than 270 miles on and near the John Muir Trail in the Eastern Sierra. Tova Handelman received her BA in environmental policy, planning, and design from UC Irvine in 2010. Passionate about ocean conservation issues, she wrote her undergraduate honors thesis about marine debris on Orange County beaches, and then worked on the Science and Policy team for the Los Angeles—based nonprofit Heal the Bay. She spent a year in Washington, D.C., as a marine-debris science intern with with Ocean Conservancy. After traveling, Tova returned to L.A. to work as an aquarist at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, where she blended her interest in marine biology with her enthusiasm for environmental education and public communication. She hopes to continue fostering conservation and awareness through a blend of science and policy.
Class of 2015
With 100-percent participation the Class of 2015 generated was able to use its gift
to start a free bicycle-share program for Bren students

Class Chairs of 2015: Jennifer Macy and Lila Spring
Class of 2015 co-chairs, Jennifer Macy and Lila Spring
Jennifer Macy graduated with a BBA in Finance and International Studies from Emory University in 2008. Over the past 5 years, she worked in project development and economic analysis for the Sonoma County Economic Development Board and later in fund development for the Marine Science Institute in the San Francisco Bay Area. In between, she spent several years abroad, which included serving in the Peace Corps - Dominican Republic. Throughout her endeavors, she has utilized her professional repertoire and skills as a PADI Divemaster to promote coastal resource initiatives and educational outreach. She assisted with biological monitoring and coral restoration with Indiana University, Reef Check, and the Punta Cana Ecological Foundation in the Dominican Republic and is currently a volunteer diver with the California Academy of Sciences. Lila Spring graduated cum laude from the University of Vermont in 2006 with a BS in Community Development and Applied Economics. After graduating she worked to promote sustainable, locally based agriculture domestically and internationally, with experience in Vermont, California, Italy, and Spain. Her interest in the human-water relationship grew in part from her experience with flooding in Vermont and its devastating effect on small-scale farms. Prior to coming to Bren, Lila volunteered for the Lake Champlain Basin Program to increase awareness of local water quality issues. At the Bren School, she is pursuing a dual specialization in Water Resource Management and Pollution Prevention and Remediation.

Class of 2014
Class Chairs for 2014: Elizabeth Ross and Alisan Amrhein
Class of 2014 co-chairs, Beth Ross and Alisan Amrhein
Beth Ross has spent time at an environmental startup in San Francisco, where she worked in project management and marketing to implement energy and water-market transformation programs. She received a dual BS in Business Administration and Environment & Natural Resources from the University of Wyoming. Beth is pursuing a specialization in Water Resources Management. Her post-graduate career goal is to work with stakeholders throughout the West to build effective collaboration strategies that promote long-term sustainable water management. Alisan Amrhein has worked with a number of environmentally related organizations, promoting sustainability through research and education. She has a passion for improving waterways and managing key marine resources, along with an interest in community outreach on local and crucial environmental issues. Alisan was graduated from UCLA's Institute of Environmental Sustainability with a BS in Environmental Science and a minor in Geography.
Class of 2013
The Class of 2013 put its donations toward a gift of
Adirondack chairs for Decker's Deck.

Class of 2013 co-chairs
Class of 2013 co-chairs, Philip Curtris and Amy Parks
Philip Curtis graduated in 2010 from Syracuse University in New York with a dual major BA in geography and earth sciences. He spent the summer of 2010 contributing to a research project on sustainable hunting practices in the Amazon. He moved to Australia, living along the coast of New South Wales and in Sydney, where he worked for the satellite-navigation company Sensis, using GIS to more accurately map road networks used by mobile GPS devices. While in Sydney, Philip discovered and applied to the Bren School, recognizing its unique potential to unite his core interests in spatial information and the natural environment. He is specializing in Conservation Planning and Water Resource Management. His post-graduate career goal is to promote responsible land-use planning and development. Philip was a recipient of a 2011-2012 Michael J. Connell Fellowship. Amy Parks graduated from Jacobs University, a private, international university in Bremen, Germany, in 2010 with a BS in earth and space sciences. She did her undergraduate research on uranium in soil pore water and the effect of agricultural practices on uranium mobilization from agricultural soils. She also chaired the Graduation Committee of 2010 and organized her class graduation ball and gift. Amy spent a year as a Campus Organizer with WISPIRG Energy Service Corps in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As an AmeriCorps volunteer, she worked with college students to educate and engage communities around home energy efficiency. Her intended areas of specialization at Bren are Economics and Politics of the Environment and Energy and Climate, and her ‘s primary career goal is to work on environmental policy at the international level.
Class of 2012
The Class of 2012 directed its gift to Career Development and Alumni Services.
Class of 2012 co-chairs
Class of 2012 co-chairs, Karly Kaufman and Dana Jennings
Karly Kaufman came to the Bren School with five years of professional work experience at an environmental nonprofit in Washington, D.C., where she collaborated closely with industry representatives and elected officials. While she was earning her BS in environmental policy at UC Davis, she served as chair of the student environmental commission. Dana Jennings worked for two years as a freelance language instructor abroad, recruiting clients and establishing partnerships with industries and schools. She developed excellent skills in managing visitors and facilitating outreach through her work at the Birch Aquarium in San Diego. Dana graduated from Northwestern University with a BA in Italian and history.
Class of 2011
Funds collected by the Class of 2011 were used to transform a cinderblock room behind Bren Hall into a storage locker for surfboards and wet suits.

Justin Derby
Environmental Mitigation Banking and Real Estate Specialist,
WRA Environmental Consultants

Class of 2011 co-chairs
Class of 2011 co-chairs, Justin Derby
and Michaela Clemence
Michaela Clemence
Project Manager,
Sustainable Fisheries Group
Class of 2010
The Class of 2010 made a generous donation to support Career Development and Alumni Services.
Bren Class of 2010 co-chairs, Ariana Arcenas and Aaron Wdowin
Class of 2010 co-chairs, Ariana Arcenas and Aaron Wdowin
Ariana Arcenas earned a BA in Human Biology and a BA in Psychology from Brown University in 2006.  While at Brown, Ariana served as a peer counselor and a teaching assistant, and was a member of the Varsity Equestrian Team. Prior to attending the Bren School, Ariana volunteered in eastern Africa and was the Environmental Coordinator for Explorer Ventures Ltd. She was the 2008-2009 recipient of the Maria Wilhelm Prize at the Bren School.  Aaron Wdowin earned a BS in Environmental Science from Brown University in 2005. Since then, he has continued to work with the Class of 2005 Gift Committee to keep classmates engaged with the Brown Annual Fund. Aaron has worked as an environmental consultant at the corporate headquarters of SCS Engineers in Long Beach, Calif. He received the 2009-2010 Wilczak Family Foundation Eco-Entrepreneurship Summer Internship Fellowship at the Bren School.
Class of 2009
The Class of 2009 provided funding for travel and registration for
master's students attending conferences.

Bren Class of 2009 co-chairs, Julia Griffen and Samantha Port-Miner
Class of 2009 co-chairs, Julia Griffin and Samantha Port-Minner
Julia Griffin earned her BS with a concentration in Marine Biology, a minor in Psychology, and a minor in Dancefrom Duke University in 2007 . During her undergraduate career, Julia organized numerous fundraising events for her dance team and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Prior to enrolling at the Bren School, Julia was an aquarium intern at the Maria Mitchell Association Aquarium in Nantucket, Mass., and a lab assistant at the Duke Marine Lab. She received a 2007-2008 Barry and Jean Schuyler Prize at the Bren School and a 2008-2009 Doris Duke Fellowship Award. Samantha Port-Minner earned her BS in Marine Biology with a minor in Chemistry from San Jose State University in 2004. As a freshman and sophomore, Samantha served as Philanthropy Chair for her residence hall, leading efforts to benefit a San Jose shelter for abused women and children. In 2003 she received the Arthur and Karin Nelson Scholarship and was a Dean's Scholar in 2004. Prior to coming to the Bren School, Samantha was a scientist at Arcadis – BBL Inc. in Walnut Creek, Calif. She has worked with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training Program and received the 2007-2008 Naomi Schwartz Prize and the 2008-2009 AEP Summer Internship Fellowship at the Bren School.
Class of 2008
The Class of 2008 become the first in Bren School history to achieve 100-percent participation in making their class gift to the school. The gift was directed to the Endowment for Student Support and to Career Development to assist with electronic networking for this class and all others.
Bren class of 2008 co-chairs Ashley Conrad-Saydah and Trevor O'Grady
Class of 2008 co-chairs, Ashley Conrad-Saydah and Trevor O'Grady
Ashley Conrad-Saydah is Deputy Secretary for Climate Policy at the California Environmental Protection Agency. She worked previously with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Sacramento. At the Bren School, Ashley was a Doris Duke Conservation Fellow, served on two working groups at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, and sang with Brengrass. She earned a bachelor's degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University. Ashley enjoys rock climbing, hiking, playing with her dog, Django Barksdale, and encouraging other Brennies to support their alma mater. She and fellow classmate Evan Johnson were married in 2013. Trevor O’Grady is a Bren School PhD student working with Professor Gary Libecap. As a MESM student in the Class of 2008, Trevor specialized in Economics and Politics of the Environment and was the recipient of the Gary and Joanne Hunt Fellowship in Environmental Law and Policy. His interests lie in corporate social responsibility analysis and innovative approaches to property rights. Before coming to Bren, Trevor completed a double major in Biology and Economics at Rutgers University. He also competed for the school’s track and field team, setting school and conference records in the decathlon and heptathlon and being named an Academic All-American by ESPN magazine in 2006.
Class of 2007
Spotting whales, dolphins, and other marine life from Bren Hall became easier with the gift of
a spotting scope from the Class of 2007. Funds in excess of the purchase price of the scope
were directed to the Diversity at Bren fund to promote outreach
to under-represented populations in recruiting for future classes.
Class of 2007 president, Brent Miller, relaxing in the dessert

Class Chair

Brent Miller
Prevail Wind, LLC

Brent Miller is a data analyst at Clipper Windpower Inc. While at the Bren Schoo, he specialized in Corporate Environmental Management with an emphasis on renewable energy. His Bren School Group Project, Campus Climate Neutral II (CCNII), focused on implementing the recommendations provided by CCNI. As a second-year student, Brent served as the student representative on the Bren Dean’s Advisory Council and as a Graduate Students Association representative. He remains an active member of the UCSB chapter of Engineers Without Borders. Brent’s continued goal is to contribute to the development and proliferation of renewable energy. He enjoys surfing, basketball, singing, and playing guitar.
Class of 2006
With its gift, the Class of 2006 established the Diversity at Bren Fund. This gift allows the school to further reflect its commitment to diversity by strengthening and formalizing current activities and developing new strategies to increase diversity so that ultimately, the Bren student body will reflect the rich diversity of California and the nation.

Class Chair

Fahmida Ahmed
Director, Office of Sustainability
Department of Sustainability and Energy Management
Stanford University

Class of 2006 chair, Fahmida Ahmad
Fahmida Ahmed directs the Office of Sustainability and the campus program Sustainable Stanford. She designs and implements sustainability programs with her team, chairs the Sustainability Working Group, supports the department’s long-term energy-infrastructure planning, directs the office’s outreach efforts, oversees business systems initiatives for the department, and steers academic integration to aid program implementation. As Chair of the Board of Directors for the Association for Advancement for Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Fahmida received a 2012 Sustainability Champion Award from the California Higher Education Sustainability Consortium for her leadership in the sustainability arena. Before joining Stanford in 2008, she was the Sustainability Specialist at UC Berkeley, where she designed and managed their climate program. Fahmida earned a BA in Economics from Smith College and a MESM degree at Bren. Fahmida previously worked in financial services and high-tech.
Class of 2005
The Class of 2005 donated funds to create a Leadership Award for a first-year student in the Class of 2007 who exemplifies environmental leadership in the spirit and tradition of the Class of 2005. The gift also enabled four students to attend an Environmental Defense Center conference.
Class of 2005 chair Karen Wolowicz
Class Chair

Karen Wolowicz Weiss
Senior Environmental Scientist,
California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Karen Wolowicz Weiss earned her MESM degree with a specialization in Economics and Politics of the Environment. She works for the San Francisco Bay Conservation Development Commission Permits Office.

Class of 2004
The Class of 2004 offered a precedent-setting gift that truly manifested environmentalism in action: they used their pooled resources to purchase the retirement of 500 metric tons of carbon dioxide – the equivalent of the yearly CO2 emissions of 80 automobiles. Read the story!

Class Chair

Jana Hartline
Environmental Communications Manager,
Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.

As Toyota's Environmental Communications Manager, Jana Hartline works directly with the media to promote Toyota's sustainable mobility efforts. Her team handles all PR for advanced technology vehicles and operational environmental achievements.

Class of 2004 chair, Jana Hartline

Class of 2003
The class gift program began with this class, which pooled resources to fund a professional-skills and team-building event for the class behind them, hosted at the Wine Cask restaurant in Santa Barbara.
Class of 2003 chair, John Onderdonk

Class Chair

John Onderdonk
Director of Sustainability Programs,
California Institute of Technology

John Onderdonk currently serves as Manager for Sustainability Programs at the California Institute of Technology, where he manages programs to improve environmental performance in such areas as energy and water conservation, greenhouse gas emissions reduction, and waste minimization. Prior to joining Caltech, John worked in the environmental risk management field. He served as Southwest Regional Manager for AIG Environmental, developing liability transfer programs for Brownfield redevelopment clients. John also manages a family ranch in the Paso Robles area that produces grass-fed beef. He holds a Master of Environmental Science & Management degree from the Bren School and a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science from the University of Oregon.

Class of 2002
Class of 2002 chair, Clarice WilsonClass Chair

Clarice Wilson
Programme Officer,
United Nations Environment Programme

Clarice Wilson is an Associate Programme Officer with the Division of Environmental Law and Conventions at the United Nations Environment Programme in Nairobi, Kenya. Before joining UNEP, she worked with the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies in Yokohama, Japan. At the Bren School she specialized in environmental economics and policy and she currently focuses on international environmental governance and cross-cutting issues. As a Sierra Leonean national, Clarice’s ambition is to contribute to and promote African development.
Class of 2001

Class of 2001 chair, Shawn Kelly and his two young sonsClass Chair

Shawn Kelly
Community Wetlands Restoration Grants Manager,
Wetlands Recovery Project

Shawn Kelly has a Bachelors of Science in Ocean Engineering from Texas A&M University, and, prior to coming to the Bren School, worked as an Ocean Engineer for the Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center’s Ocean Engineering Department. He currently is a Program Manager for the California Coastal Conservancy’s Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project (WRP), a position he has held since graduating from the Bren School. The WRP is a partnership of 17 Federal and State public agencies working cooperatively to acquire, restore, and enhance coastal wetlands and watersheds between Point Conception and the border with Mexico. Shawn's professional interests include coastal land use policy, coastal streams and wetlands, physical oceanography, marine fisheries, and ocean engineering. Shawn is an avid outdoorsman, world traveler, and environmental advocate.  His outdoor pursuits include surfing, snowboarding, and mountain biking. Shawn is the father of two boys, Aidan and Riley.

Class of 2000

Class of 2000 chair, Jorine Campopiano, with her husband, Marc Campopiano and their baby
Marc (Bren '00), Jorine
(Bren '00) and Jackson
(born January 2006)

Class Chair

Jorine Campopiano
Environmental Scientist,
Wetlands Regulatory Office,
United States Environmental Protection Agency- Region 9

As an environmental scientist for the US EPA, Jorine Campopiano works as an environmental scientist for EPA involved with complex permitting and enforcement under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act in California, Arizona, Nevada, and the Pacific Islands. She works on a variety of large-scale and controversial projects including transportation, residential and commercial developments, and industrial operations. Through the regulatory process, she continually seeks to improve projects by advocating innovative and practicable mitigation measures to decrease or eliminate impacts to the aquatic ecosystem. Prior to working at EPA, Jorine worked for the Ventura County Watershed Protection District and Beach Environmental, a consulting firm in Aspen, Colorado.

Class of 1999
Class of 1999 chair, Sam Hitz

Class Chair

Sam Hitz
Doctor of Medicine Candidate,
Loma Linda University

Sam Hitz is a Senior Policy Advisor at The Climate Registry, a nonprofit collaboration among North American states, provinces, territories and Native Sovereign Nations that sets consistent and transparent standards to calculate, verify and publicly report greenhouse gas emissions. Prior to joining the Registry, Sam was part of the climate change practice at Stratus Consulting, where he worked on vulnerability and impact assessments, as well as the development of adaptation of mitigation strategies for clients that spanned the private, government and multi-lateral sectors. After graduating from the Bren School Sam lived and worked in Nairobi, Kenya for three years. From 2000-2001, as a Fulbright Fellow he partnered with the African Centre for Technology Studies to design and implement a comprehensive assessment of the environmental services sector in Nairobi’s largest informal settlement.  He subsequently worked with several NGOs in securing funding for and implementing related development initiatives. Sam co-founded Youth in Development Group, a community development organization run entirely by young Kenyans from Nairobi's largest slum, that works to improve health, environmental and economic conditions in the city's informal settlements. Sam received his Bachelor’s degree in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Harvard University. He currently lives in Los Angeles, where The Climate Registry is located.

Class of 1998
Class Chair

Tommy Liddell
Engineering Technician,
County of Santa Barbara

As an engineering technician for the County of Santa Barbara's Project Clean Water, Tommy Liddell directs the dry- and wet-weather sampling programs, performs annual walks of local creeks and beaches, manages the Project Clean Water GIS, responds to citizen complaints, and assists in the development of the County's Storm Water Management Program, as required by the NPDES program. When he's not out stomping around in creeks, Tommy enjoys spending time with his wife Heather and son Tyler, lifting weights, and working on his new house in Ventura.

Class of 1998 chair, Tommy Liddell
Tommy and son, Tyler